Question Process

  • How are questions processed?

    Please click here for information on how questions are processed: http://www.ahacentraloffice.org/ahacentraloffice/shtml/RequestCodingAdvice.shtml.

  • Do I need to create an account?

    Yes, you must create an account before submitting a question to the AHA Central Office. The AHA Central Office needs complete contact information in order to request additional information and to send the official response to you.

    To create an account, hit Log In and you will be prompted to enter your name and e-mail address. The system will check for potential duplicate records. If any are found, please review or if there are no matches continue through the registration process.

    The following fields are required: your name, organization, address, password and security question.  If there are no matches to your organization (place of business) in our database, please select “create new” from the drop down list and enter the business information.  Once your account is created, please allow up to 3 business days for your account to be activated.

  • How long does it take to process a question

    The time it takes to process a question depends upon its complexity. The AHA Central Office staff will conduct thorough research to determine a response. If necessary, the question may be forwarded to the Editorial Advisory Board for review and comment. In the latter case, processing may take up to six months for resolution. For more information on the Editorial Advisory Board, click here: http://www.ahacentraloffice.org/ahacentraloffice/shtml/EditorialAdvisoryBoards.shtml.

  • Are there questions that the AHA Central Office does not process?

    The AHA Central Office will not respond to the following HCPCS codes:

    • Inquiries from physician providers related to CPT-4. These questions will be referred to the American Medical Association (AMA).
    • Questions related to HCPCS level II codes except for A-codes, for ambulance services and radiopharmaceuticals, C-codes, G-codes, J-codes and Q-codes other than Q0136 through Q0181.
    • The remainder of the body of Level II HCPCS codes related to durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and other supplies. These questions will be referred to Durable Medical Equipment Regional Carriers (DMERCs) or their successors, the DME Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). These codes do not apply to hospital or physician providers.

    The AHA Central Office will not respond to the following ICD-10-PCS coding questions:

    • We regret that the AHA Central Office clearinghouse is not able to support requests for ICD-10-PCS coding advice related to outpatient procedures.  Such requests for coding advice will be returned unanswered. However, we are happy to assist you with HCPCS coding questions for outpatient procedures. The ICD-10-PCS code set was not designed to support the coding of most services that are performed by providers in the outpatient setting. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Administrative Simplification Modifications to Medical Data Code Set Standards (published in the Federal Register, Vol. 74, No. 11, pp. 3328-3362, January 16, 2009) adopted ICD–10–PCS for inpatient hospital procedure coding only.

    The AHA Central Office will not respond to the following types of questions for ICD-9-CM, ICD- 10-CM/PCS or HCPCS:

    • Questions related to payment or coverage issues
    • Questions related to interpretation of medical record documentation, such as identifying the principal diagnosis—unless it relates to the application of specific coding guidelines or specific previously published coding advice
    • Questions related to DRG assignment or DRG shifts from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM/PCS
    • Questions related to missing or incomplete documentation or validation of what is appropriate documentation (paper or electronic)
    • Questions related to clinical issues or clinical criteria for diagnoses or procedures
    • Questions related to mediating differences of opinion between providers and auditors or payers or any other third party reviewers—unless it relates to the application of specific coding guidelines or specific previously published coding advice
    • Requests for the Central Office to code the entire medical record or operative report or to validate code assignment.
    • Questions or recommendations related to ICD-10-CM Index or Tabular List problems or conflicting instructions. Such questions should be sent to: Donna Pickett, RHIA, Medical Classification Administrator, Office of Planning and Extramural Programs, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control, 3311 Toledo Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782
    • Questions or recommendations regarding ICD-10-PCS Index entries, ICD-10-PCS device definitions, ICD-10-PCS Reference manual or the General Equivalence Mappings (GEMS) should be sent to: Patricia Brooks, RHIA, Technical Advisor, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Division of Acute Care, Mail Stop C4-08-06, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
  • What is the AHA Central Office?

    The AHA Central Office was created through a written Memorandum of Understanding between the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 1963 to:

    • Serve as the U.S. clearinghouse for issues related to the use of ICD-9-CM
    • Work with NCHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to maintain the integrity of the classification system
    • Recommend revisions and modifications to the current and future revisions of the ICD
    • Develop educational material and programs on ICD-9-CM

    In August 2005, CMS and AHA entered into an agreement for the establishment of an AHA clearinghouse for issues related to the use of certain HCPCS codes. Under this agreement, responsibilities of the AHA Central Office includes providing advice on the following:

    • Level I HCPCS (CPT-4 codes) for hospital providers.
    • Certain Level II HCPCS codes.

    For more information, click here. http://www.ahacentraloffice.org/ahacentraloffice/index.shtml

  • How do I retrieve my password?

    Click here to be taken to the login page and then use the "Lost password?" option. If you are unable to remember the answer to your security question please contact the AHA Central Office at codingclinicsupport@aha.org

  • How do I change my organization name?

    Please contact the AHA Central Office at codingclinicsupport@aha.org to submit any organization changes.

  • What happens if I change employers and I have pending questions?

    The response will be mailed to the address on file.  The responses will be furnished to the organization on the account.  If you still would like a response to a question, please resubmit the question after updating your account by contacting the AHA Central Office at codingclinicsupport@aha.org to submit any organization changes.

Question Status

  • How do I track the status of a question?
    Click Check Question Status and enter the tracking number received via e-mail after successfully submitting the question. If you do not have a tracking number or cannot find it, click Request My Tracking Number link in the bottom left corner.
  • I can't find my tracking number. How do I request it?

    Click Request My Tracking Number located in the bottom left corner of the home page. You will need to provide the following information: approximate timeframe question was submitted, method of submission (e.g., mail), type of question (e.g., ICD-9-CM) and brief description. With that information, we will search the database and e-mail the tracking number that best matches the information provided.

  • How do I track the status of a question

    Click Check Question Status and enter the tracking number received via e-mail after successfully submitting the question. If you do not have a tracking number or cannot find it, click Request My Tracking Number link in the bottom left corner.

  • Why did I receive an error message when I entered my tracking number?

    Either the tracking number entered is invalid or the question was not submitted online. If you originally submitted your question online, please double check the tracking number and re-enter. If you continue to receive an error message, please e-mail codingclinic@aha.org for assistance.

    If you mailed or faxed your question originally, please find your tracking number using the Request My Tracking Number option and in the question description section indicate that you want to track your status. Please consider submitting future questions online in order to track the status automatically.

  • Can I access the official answer through this website?

    No. All official answers will continue to be provided in writing and e-mailed to your organization.

  • What do the different status types mean?
    • Closed Answered – This status is active if the AHA Central Office has researched and answered the question. All official answers are provided in writing and mailed to your organization. If you have this status but have not received or lost your response, please e-mail codingclinic@aha.org
    • Closed Missing Information – This status is active if the AHA Central Office requested additional information in order to process the question but the information is not received within 30 days of the request. The question is closed and unanswered. You will be required to submit your question again, and it will be assigned a new tracking number.
    • EAB Assigned – This status is active if the AHA Central Office has researched and determined that due to the nature of the question, it has been forwarded to the Editorial Advisory Board for review and comment.
    • Open – This status is active if a question has been submitted but has not yet been assigned. Each question is initially reviewed for completeness and appropriateness since there are questions the AHA Central Office does not field. Please see Are there questions the AHA Central Office does not process? in the Help Center section. Questions are assigned and reviewed in the order they were received.
    • Pending Additional Information – This status is active if the AHA Central Office has requested more information in order to research and process a response. Please submit the additional information via an attachment within 30 days of the request. If the additional information is not received within this timeframe, the question will be closed and unanswered.
    • Review – This status is active if the question has been successfully submitted, accepted and is under review. The AHA Central Office staff is researching and processing the question at this time.

Question Submission

  • How do I create an account?
    Click the Log In menu option and register for a new account
  • How many questions can I submit?

    You may submit up to three questions per one login session. Each question and related materials must be submitted separately in order to be assigned a unique tracking number and receive a response.

  • Can I submit multiple questions at one time?

    You may submit up to three questions per one login session. Each question and related materials must be submitted separately in order to be assigned a unique tracking number and receive a response.

  • What types of supporting documents should be included as part of the question submission?

    Include documents that provide context to the question being submitted. Do not submit any document that contains Personal Health Information (PHI), physician name or hospital name. Any question submission or related document that includes PHI, physician name or hospital name will be immediately rejected. The question will not be accepted nor answered.

  • Is there a fee to submit a question?

    All questions submitted are processed free of charge.

  • Is the AHA Central Office accepting questions on ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS?

    Yes. The AHA Coding Clinic started to publish ICD-10 related questions and answers in the Fourth Quarter of 2012.

  • Does the AHA Central Office no longer accept questions on ICD-9-CM?

    After more than 30 years of providing ICD-9-CM coding advice, the AHA Central Office has shifted its attention to ICD-10-CM/PCS and no longer accepts nor responds to requests for ICD-9-CM coding advice. 

  • If I already mailed or faxed a question, can I resubmit it online now?

    No. Please do not submit the same question more than one way or more than once. This will create a duplicate in the system and significantly delay the processing of the original question.

  • I made a mistake with my question submission.I forgot to include the attachment I referenced in the question submitted. I omitted some important information from the question description section.

    Please e-mail codingclinic@aha.org to notify us of the issue. Please include the tracking number. Do not send the missing information via e-mail, nor resubmit the question. Both will significantly delay processing the question.

Subscription User Guide

Annual Subscription

  • What is the Annual Subscription?

    The Annual Subscription grants you access to AHA Coding Clinic® for ICD-10-CM/PCS and/or HCPCS in a downloadable PDF to view on your computer or mobile device.

  • How much does an Annual Subscription cost for a NON AHA Member?

    Non AHA Member Pricing

    ICD 10

     
       Per Year

    Single user

     $  375.00

    2-10 per each user

     $  355.00

    11-20 per each user

     $  330.00

    More than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license.

       
       

    HCPCS

     
     

    Per Year

    Single user

     $  175.00

    2-10 per each user

     $  155.00

    11-20 per each user

     $  130.00

    More than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license .

  • How much does an Annual subscription cost for a AHA Member?

    AHA Member Pricing

    ICD 10

     
       Per Year

    Single user

     $245.00

    2-10 per each user

     $225.00

    11-20 per each user

     $200.00

    More than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license.

       
       

    HCPCS

     
     

    Per Year

    Single user

     $130.00

    2-10 per each user

     $110.00

    11-20 per each user

     $95.00

    More than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license.

Unlimited Subscription

  • What is the Unlimited Subscription?

    Unlimited Access gives you all the benefits of an Annual Subscription with much more flexibility. Allows you to browse by Topic, Year, and create bookmarks. You can view questions and answers from any related Coding Clinics for ICD-10-CM/PCS and HCPCS right on the screen without having to look at indiviual newsletters.

  • How much does an Unlimited Subscription cost for a NON AHA Member?

    NON AHA Member Pricing

     

    ICD 10

     

     

     

    Per Year

     

    Single user

     $    1,300.00

     

    additional user

     $     600.00

     

    Renewal fee

     $     585.00

     

    additional user renewal

     $      300.00

     

    More than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license.

       

     

    HCPCS

     

     

     

    Per Year

     

    Single user

     $      900.00

     

    additional user

     $      250.00

     

    Renewal Fee

     $      450.00

     

    additional user renewal

     $      100.00

     

    More than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license.

  • How much does an Unlimited Subscription cost for a AHA Member?

    AHA Member Pricing

     

    ICD 10

     
     

    Per Year

    Single user

     $           800.00

    additional user

     $           500.00

    Renewal fee

     $           460.00

    additional user renewal

     $           200.00

    more than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license

       

    HCPCS

     
     

    Per Year

    Single user

     $           720.00

    additional user

     $           200.00

    Renewal Fee

     $           375.00

    additional user renewal

     $              75.00

    more than 20 users email lmarshall@healthforum.com for a license

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do's and Don'ts

    Don’ts

    Do not submit questions without supporting documentation, see Help Center section for more information.

    Do not submit any document that contains Personal Health Information (PHI), physician name or hospital name.

    Do not submit ICD-10-PCS coding questions related to outpatient procedures, see Help Center section for more information.

    Do not submit ICD-9-CM questions.

    Do not submit questions related to payment or coverage issues.

    Do not submit questions related to interpretation of medical record documentation, such as identifying the principal diagnosis—unless it relates to the application of specific coding guidelines or specific previously published coding advice.

    Do not submit questions related to completion of OASIS (the Outcome and Assessment Information Set) or IRF-PAI (Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Patient Assessment Instrument) forms.

    Do not submit questions related to missing or incomplete documentation or validation of what is appropriate documentation (paper or electronic).

    Do not submit questions related to clinical issues or clinical criteria for diagnoses or procedures.

    Do not submit questions related to mediating differences of opinion between providers and auditors or payers or any other third party reviewers—unless it relates to the application of specific coding guidelines or specific previously published coding advice.

    Do not submit requests for the Central Office to code the entire medical record or operative report or to validate code assignment.

    Do not submit questions or recommendations related to ICD-10-CM Index or Tabular List problems or conflicting instructions. For information on submission of ICD-10-CM code changes visit http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/icd/icd9cm_maintenance.htm

    Do not submit questions or recommendations regarding ICD-10-PCS Index entries, ICD-10-PCS device definitions, ICD-10-PCS Reference manual or the General Equivalence Mappings (GEMS) .  For information on submission of ICD-10-PCS code changes visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD9ProviderDiagnosticCodes/newrevisedcodes.html

    Do not submit HCPCS questions/inquiries from physician providers related to CPT-4., Do not submit HCPCS level II questions/inquiries related to durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and other supplies.

    Do not submit duplicate questions, this will delay processing.

    Do not use this feature for general correspondence or questions, email us at codingclinic@aha.org.

     

     

    Do’s

    Read the Frequently Asked Questions (Help Center) before submitting your question.

    Do include HIPAA compliant supporting documentation with your request, see Help Center section for more information.

    Do refer first to the Alphabetical Index, Tabular List, Official Coding Guidelines to determine if there is previous guidance to help answer your question.

    Do submit questions that relate to the application of specific coding guidelines

    Do submit questions regarding specific advice previously published in Coding Clinic

    Do submit HCPCS level 1 questions for hospital providers

    Do submit certain subset of HCPCS level II: such as A-codes, for ambulance services and radiopharmaceuticals, C-codes, G-codes, J-codes and Q-codes other than Q0136 through Q0181

    Do be as specific as possible and explain what the coding problem is.